What is moderate arthritis?


Quick Answer

Arthritis is a chronic, progressive disease, and moderate arthritis indicates that the disease has progressed beyond the beginning stage but has not yet reached the most severe stage, states HealthCentral. Doctors determine the severity of rheumatoid arthritis by the degree of joint pain, swelling and damage, and by the results of lab tests such as sedimentation rate. Doctors determine the severity of osteoarthritis by the amount of cartilage damage or wear and the patient's symptoms, explains Everyday Health.

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Full Answer

A patient with moderate rheumatoid arthritis usually has some loss of bone density and some bone erosion, and he often experiences symptoms such as a couple hours of muscle stiffness in the morning, fatigue, anemia and significant joint pain and swelling, according to HealthCentral. At this point in the disease, a patient typically needs to increase or change medications to control pain and other symptoms and may need multiple medications to maintain normal daily activities.

A patient with moderate osteoarthritis may find symptoms worsening throughout the day, says Everyday Health. The bones located beneath the patient's worn-down cartilage become thicker, and bone spurs may begin to form where bones meet at the joints. With osteoarthritis, this is the stage in which the patient begins to need pain medication. Over-the-counter non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications usually are sufficient for relief of pain, swelling and inflammation.

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